PE - Question of pole-working - Summary

Wendy Freeman/Otte wyllow at
Fri Sep 15 11:32:45 PDT 2000

All the suggestions are great!  The only thing I could think of to smooth a
pole was a wood file - and that would take forever.

So far:
1. Pumice - would depend on if it was available locally or through trade -
otherwise I'd have to knock a monk/scribe over the head to steal his...
2. Sandstone - more widely available, I think.
3. Loose sand - messy, but definitely available along coastlines.
4. Special silicon grass - that would be a fun challenge.  What was the
species or common name?
5. Scraper (Link I found on scraping vs sanding:
6. Sharkskin - now how would a lone Scotswoman catch a shark?  Maybe I could
talk one of those enterprising Vikings into killing one...

I'll let you know how they work.  I'm practicing on pine & maple poles over
the next 6 months.

--Wyllow of the Loch

> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> I am building a simple Roman "pup" tent.  I am trying to do this in as
> painfully period a manner as possible (although it looks like I'll have to
> subtitute canvas for goat hides (sigh...).
> Here's the dilemma: I saved some long branches (2-3" diameter, I think
> to make the two upright poles, have de-barked them, and am whittling off
> branch bits.  They are still rough enough to cause splinters, though.  I'm
> sure something was used in medieval times to "sand down" (as we call it)
> the
> wood.  I vaguely remember someone saying sandpaper (i.e. sand glued to a
> backing) was used in later period medieval Europe - but what did they use
> before then?
> Specifically, what would have been used by the Northern Europe woodworkers
> (Gaelic or Norse regions) before about 900 A.D.?
> Any other documentable evidence as to treatment of poles that might be
> to other tent-builders?
> Lady Wyllow of the Loch

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